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Well...What Do I Do Now?

Suddenly stuck in your house with no formal education training and having to teach your child. OMG… me too! At the start of the coronavirus story being on the news who would have thought this is where we would be. Millions of people unemployed, the places you would typically go to socialise and relax are closed for business and even though schools are still open, you are too scared to send your kid.

I have always had so much respect for my child’s teachers, mostly because I know they do a job I am in no way qualified to do. We are fortunate to be in a very small school and have been so lucky with the teaching staff we ended up with. We actually made the final decision on the school after I met the Kindergarten teacher at orientation and fell in love with her. She just oozed passion, enthusiasm and I had complete confidence that she would be the person who would make my child fall in love with school, and she did.

The thought that little old me who has been working full-time since I was 14 would need to take over educational duties is terrifying. So much so that when this was looking like it would need to be a reality, I could actually hear the theme from Jaws playing in my head.

Reading all the chatter on social media from people all over the country complaining about their school not giving them information about what you should be doing at home with your kids, and having done this for some weeks now, I thought I would share a few ideas...

Educating your kids at home Firstly give yourself and the kids a break. You are not going to do everything perfectly. Your kid is going to snap at you the way they wouldn’t snap at a teacher because they can. You’re all in close quarters with limited or no outside stimulation for maybe the first time ever. Yes, get them to do some of the work sent home by the school but let them blow off some steam too.

There are also so many great pages popping up with lots of educational resources you can access at home. One thing I found really helpful with mine (as she was in the right age group) was to actually get her to sit a practice NAPLAN test on the first day or so. Not because I cared about the score but because it showed me the concepts that we might need to work on.

Social schooling You need to stay connected with your friends but so do they. Set up some Zoom playdates so they can chat on screen and be silly. This week we were on facetime with a friend in Victoria we both had a deck of cards and played poker as part of a maths lesson, and they had a ball. I got them to watch a video about deforestation and palm oil and then they made a poster about how to protect the animals. Just keep them engaged.

Your school They had no notice that something like this was coming. They work for the department of education, and they can’t give you information that they don’t have. This is an ever-changing situation and they are doing their best to catch up. While the rest of us are isolating where possible to keep our family safe, our teachers continue to show up, putting themselves and their families at risk. They are there for the families who have no choice but to keep sending kids to school.

Health care professionals, those employed in the school supply chain - they too have families they are worried about and worried about how they will pay their bills. Just remember that before you say unkind things to them (or about them). This also goes for people in supermarkets and other service areas.

The rule “Don’t be a wanker” should just apply across the board. Happy learning!

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